Chemotherapy is a cancer-fighting drug that can be given by mouth or through an intravenous injection (IV). Franciscan Health offers infusion therapy teams that specialize in chemotherapy cancer care.
Treating Cancer with Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for cancer. A chemotherapy drug may be given alone or combined with other drugs and therapies to treat cancer directly, shrink tumors before surgery, or alleviate symptoms of a disease.
Your chemotherapy session
At Franciscan Health, your initial chemotherapy session will include a tour of our treatment team, facilities and amenities, as well as a thorough explanation of prescribed medications and interventions for side effects and physical changes during your treatment.
Before each chemotherapy session your medical team will address any questions and concerns and provide you with physician contact information for after-hours or weekends. Duration is dependent on your prescribed treatment and will be discussed during this time.
Pre-medications and chemotherapy are given through an IV or access port administered by one of our nurses trained in infusion therapy. Pre-medications help to minimize potential side effects and may not be required for all patients.
Side effects of chemotherapy
Doctors, nurses, pharmicists, social service staff and dieticians help to coordinate home aspects of treatment so that you remain as comfortable as possible. Side effects of chemotherapy are dependent on factors like type of cancer and specific medication. Fortunately, these can often be managed through open-communication between you and your treatment team.
Common side effects include but are not limited to:
- Hair loss
- Nerve pain